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For Rhetoric Instructors

What do understanding an abstract, avoiding plagiarism, formatting a bibliography, and picking a research topic have in common? They are all aspects of information literacy. 

There are many different definitions of information literacy, but perhaps the best succinct and comprehensive definition is: Information literacy is a set of abilities requiring individuals to “recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information.” Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. American Library Association . 2006. (Accessed 27 May 2009).

A more comprehensive definition communicating the substance and breadth of information literacy is also useful. Jeremy J. Shapiro and Shelley K. Hughes provide a more detailed definition in their article ” Information Literacy as a Liberal Art.” Briefly put, Shapiro and Hughes make the following major points in their definition – “information literacy is a new liberal art which extends beyond technical skills and is conceived as one’s critical reflection on the nature of information itself, its technical infrastructure and its social, cultural, and even philosophical context and impact.”

What we can offer you:

Librarians are available to consult with you on a variety of topics to support your teaching, and to support your own research needs and interests.

We can provide you with:

  • help with assignment design. This can include working with you to create learning outcomes for your students
  • recommended resources to complement your assignments
  • help teaching your students to find and especially evaluate resources in all formats
  • an introduction to the subject liaison in your field
  • a widget with research tips to add to your class ICON page

In addition, we have digital content you can share with your students, including:

  • video tutorials on library topics, which you can share through ICON. Embedded videos allow students to access the information at point of need, and return to it as many times as is necessary
  • a subject guide specially created for Rhetoric students
  • an audio tour of the library (available as a podcast)

(Want something else we haven’t made a video of yet? Let us know and we’ll make it happen.)

Visit our menu of what we can offer your students in a library session:

Fill out this form to request a library session for your students.

A librarian will reply to schedule and work with you to craft a session to meet your needs. It is important to link the library session to a course assignment.  Please try to schedule your session for 2 weeks before the assignment is due. You should plan to be present the day of the session.


For more information, please contact
Kathy Magarrell, Head, Research & Library Instruction
Main Library

Undergraduate Engagement Librarians:
Cathy Cranston,

Katie Hassman,

Directory of Subject Specialists